I am pleased to present thisannual reVIEW detailingthe work of the BritishCouncil in the United Statesof America. Throughoutthese pages, you will findin-depth examples of ourwork in 201 and 2012. 1
The British Council is the UnitedKingdom’s cultural relationsorganization. We work through thearts, English language, educationand society, to create internationalopportunities for the people of theUK and other countries and build trustbetween them. We work in allsix continents of the world, withmore than 190 offices in 110 countriesand territories.Next year is the 40th anniversary of our US office, whereI have served as Director since 2006. This summer, I willleave and hand the reins to my successor, Paul Smith,who comes to the US from Kabul where he served asour Director of Afghanistan. We have teams based inWashington DC, New York and Los Angeles, and willsoon set up our regional hub for the Americas in Miami.Our objectives have much in common with the workbeing done by US institutions in a wide variety of sectors– from the government, NGO and non-profits, to artsorganizations, colleges and universities.2012 is a particularly exciting year for the UK, as we hostthe London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and markthe Diamond Jubilee of our patron HM The Queen. It’salso an exciting year for us here in the US, where we areidentifying more opportunities to work in partnershipwith American organizations of all shapes and sizes.Partnerships are at the heart of our mission to bringthe US and UK together to work on shared agendasworldwide.A recent example is our partnership with Microsoft.In November 2011, we launched a five-year strategicpartnership with Microsoft Partners in Learning, startingwith a $2 million two-year project to improve skills andaccess to education in African schools. Together, weexpect to train over 20,000 school leaders and teachersand provide over 100,000 learners with digital access.As you read through this review, I would like to direct yourattention to the quotes from our partners about theirexperience of working with us. As we look ahead to 2013,we hope to strengthen these collaborations and broadenour work with the Friends of the British Council,a separate US organization chaired by Sandra Gibson.If you would like to find out more, I encourage you to visitwww.britishcouncil.org/usaSharon MemisDirector British Council USAApril 2012 1
The British Council createsinternational opportunitiesfor the people of the UK andother countries and buildstrust between them. We callthis cultural relations.We are, and are recognized as being, the world’sleading cultural relations organization. Overnearly 80 years, we have built a reputationfor making a positive impact in communitiesthroughout the world. 3
We have three key areas of work – Younger people, either in education or just starting outEnglish, the arts, and education and on their careers, who are opinion formers through their own social networks and are potentially the next generation ofsociety – and we work with three main national leaders and influencers.groups of people. These ARE: We are a unique organization, part-funded by the BritishSociety and community leaders, who can bring about government, but attracting resources from partners, donorschanges in social, educational and cultural policy, and help and paying customers. Three-quarters of our income isus make wider connections. earned from our partnerships and the services we provide worldwide. Any surplus we make is re-invested into ourInfluencers, including career professionals, the media, cultural relations work.educators, artists, scientists and business leaders – who wepartner with to maximize the impact of their work and ours. 5
As a whole, the BritishCouncil touches thelives of 600 millionpeople a year – almostone in ten of theworld’s population.
In 201 the 1,British Council’sUS team:Engaged face-to-face with nearly 7,000people, of whom nearly 200 were societyand community leaders, over 4,000 wereclassed as influencers and some 2,500were young people and students.Connected with over 70,000 peoplethrough exhibitions and festivals.Reached almost 1.5 million peoplethrough digital media.Reached a further three-quarters of amillion people through publications andbroadcast.Connected with more than 14,000 peoplethrough social media.Our programs have received media coverage across a widerange of news outlets, including the New York Times, the LosAngeles Times, the New York Post, and the Huffington Post. 7
At a Glance:2011–12AchievementsA few of the British Council USA’s Artsachievements over the past fiscal year • Partnering with the American Repertory Theatre in(1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012) include: Cambridge, Massachusetts and London’s Young Vic Theatre on the first ever transatlantic co-production of Jung Chang’s best-selling memoir Wild Swans. • Introducing some 30 US arts professionals to the best of British theatre at the biennial Edinburgh Showcase. • Arranging for Scottish novelist Zoë Strachan to be Writer-in-Residence at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. • Working with the Bronx Museum of the Arts as part of Dickens 2012, a global celebration of the author’s 200th birthday, to organize a creative writing, art and photography competition for New York high school students. • Facilitating a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their North American tour to meet children at Inner-City Arts, a Los Angeles-based arts education provider.
Education Society• Launching a $2 million education partnership with • Organizing two conferences at Georgetown University Microsoft to improve access to education and boost and the University of Cambridge as part of the Our ICT skills in six countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. Shared Future project, each bringing together over 60 experts and academics working to improve• Launching the Trilateral Research in Partnership Awards, Muslim/non-Muslim relations. to provide ten awards of up to $75,000 to support multidisciplinary research projects between US, UK • Sending 15 US, UK and European young leaders from and Indian higher education institutions. our TN2020 program to take part in a capacity-building workshop with young professionals in Kosovo.• Helping the UK maintain its lead as the top study abroad destination for American students, with more than 40,000 • Introducing 26 American teenagers, who were directly Americans choosing UK study abroad, undergraduate and affected by 9/11, to the UK’s educational and cultural post-graduate programs. offerings, during our 2011 British Council Summer Camp.• Engaging with nearly 40,000 people through an exhibition • Commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a of US and UK high school students’ art, through our Rivers thoughtful video series by young people around the world. of the World project, funded by HSBC and in partnership with the London Mayor’s Thames Festival. 9
ArtsOur work in the artsshares the best of UKculture in a spirit ofcultural exchange.Globally, we work withnearly 4,000 arts policymakers and ministers,84,000 cultural leadersand artists, and over 14million exhibition andperformance attendees.
The US remains the most coveted new market for our Some of our arts team’s notableUK partners in the arts. Through the British Council, achievements and projects include:established artists and art organizations can extend theirreach, while lesser-known artists and companies canbe launched internationally. In 2011–12, we worked ona number of arts initiatives designed to strengthen thetransatlantic relationship through shared agendas andcreate opportunities for international dialogue. 11
WILD SWANSIn February 2012, the British Council’sUS office helped bring about a US –UK collaboration between London’sYoung Vic theatre, the AmericanRepertory Theatre (A.R.T.), a non-profittheatre at Harvard University inCambridge, Massachusetts, andthe Actors Touring Company.
The three partners produced a stage version of Jung Together with the A.R.T. we organized a multimediaChang’s bestselling memoir Wild Swans, together with a community memoir project made up of audio interviews,wrap-around project that involved the Chinese-American visual slideshows and video, to engage the Chinesecommunity with the production. The play, which brought population in the Boston area with the play.together a joint US/UK artistic team, premiered in the USbefore moving to the UK in April for World Stages London,a new international theatre festival supported by the BritishCouncil’s London 2012 program. 13
201 Edinburgh Nicola Green: 1Showcase In Seven DaysEvery other year, the British Council In October 2011, we partnered with thebrings together arts professionals Library of Congress to celebrate theirfrom the US and other countries at recent acquisition, In Seven Days…,the world’s biggest arts festival in a series of seven prints by BritishEdinburgh. artist Nicola Green, which tells the story of the 2008 US presidentialThe Edinburgh Showcase highlights promising Britishworks and artists who are exploring contemporary issues election from the campaign trailin innovative ways. The week also includes a trade fair and to the inauguration.networking opportunities for companies. To celebrate, we convened a lively panel discussion onIn August 2011, we introduced nearly 30 US arts how art can reflect social change, featuring the Matt Frei,professionals to the best of new British performance at the Washington correspondent of the UK’s Channel Four News,biennial Edinburgh Showcase. Several British theatre groups, curator and art historian Sarah Lewis, and the artist herself.including the live action and animation arts group ‘1927’,will now bring their performances to the US, as a result ofconnections forged last August.
Nicola Green: In Seven Days...‘We greatly appreciated the partnershipopportunity, all the thoughtful workto develop such a special event, and thechance to bring local and internationalcommunity members together. We treasuresuch chances to make the Library’scollections better known and accessibleto students, teachers, scholars, creators,and others who might benefit from them.’Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Printsat the Library of Congress 15
Sketchingthe CityIn February 2012, we worked withthe Bronx Museum of the Arts tocommemorate the 200th anniversaryof Charles Dickens’s birth, as part ofDickens 2012, a global celebration ofthe author’s life and work.We held a contest for New York public high schoolstudents, encouraging them to follow in Dickens’sfootsteps by observing city life in their local community,then take photographs, write, draw, or blog about it.The project, Sketching the City, was inspired by one ofDickens’s earliest works, Sketches by Boz, which he wrotewhen he was still in his early twenties – not much olderthan the students taking part in our contest. The winningentries are on exhibit in the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
EuropeanUnion YouthOrchestraUS TourIn April 2012, the British Council USteam partnered with the Friends of ‘I am deeply indebted to our partnersthe British Council, the European for this project – the British CouncilUnion Delegation to the US, and airline and the Friends of the British Councilpartners Delta, KLM, Air France and – for their support, commitment andAlitalia, to support the European dedication and I would sincerely likeUnion Youth Orchestra (EUYO)’s first to thank each and every one of theirUS tour since 1988. staff for their tireless work.’The six-state tour featured Grammy Award-winningconductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, as well as 116 young Joy Bryer, EUYO Co-Foundermusicians between the ages of 14 and 24, drawn from and Secretary Generalall 27 EU member states. It provided an opportunityto introduce the best of European musical talent to anAmerican audience.The EUYO also partnered with the EU National Institutesof Culture (EUNIC) and the EU Delegation to the US inWashington for outreach programs and music workshopsat three high schools in Montgomery County, Maryland.The British Council’s media consultant secured extensivemedia coverage for the tour, including an interview onNational Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show, reaching anaudience of 2.3 million listeners. 17
UK Writer-in-ResidenceDuring the autumn of 2011, the British Council’s US teamarranged for Scottish novelist Zoë Strachan to spend sixweeks at the University of Iowa’s International WritingProgram as UK Writer-in-Residence. During her residency,she taught classes in creative writing, and had the chance tomeet and mingle with other writers from all over the world.Zoë gave a glowing report of hertime in Iowa City, writing that ...‘exposure to so many differentvoices and cultures is a wonderand a privilege’
Two-thirds of USpresenters whoworked with ukperformaningartists supported bythe british councilusa noted an impacton their audiences –and their own artists– towards morepositive impressionsof British creativity.
Impact of our Arts workIn March 2012 we received research by Michaels Opinion 100 per cent of respondents said their collaborations withResearch, Inc., on the financial impact, audience reach and UK performing arts groups had given them improved skillsindirect benefits of our New Work New Audiences (NWNA) and technical knowledge, from handling complex theatricalpilot project. This program supported performances by structures, to developing new audiences, to handling visascontemporary UK performing arts companies in the US from and international travel. UK performing arts groups reported2009 to 2011. similar gains and practical insight from their experiences.The impact of the program on the artistic policies and Both US presenters and UK performing arts organizationspractices of US presenters was significant — 83 per cent were unanimous in offering praise and emphasizingof respondents said they were more open to creative the importance of the British Council’s support ofpossibilities to expand and inform their audiences. international collaboration. 21
Globally, we work withmore than 10,000 educationand society policymakers and leaders, andreach nearly six millionparticipants in educationalone. Nearly two millionpeople around the worldattend our education fairs,events and conferences.Our education work in the USA is focusedon creating institutional partnerships,convening forums for policy dialogue,supporting UK institutions to marketthemselves in the US, and supportingalumni networks.The UK and the US are each other’s top destination foroverseas study. Over 15,000 US students studied forfull degrees at British universities in 2009–10, markinga 5 per cent rise over the previous year (source: UK’sHigher Education Statistics Agency).Some of our US education team’s notableachievements and projects over the pastyear include: 23
TRIP Awardsin January 2012, we announcedthe first trilateral strand ofthe successful UK–India EducationResearch Initiative (UKIERI) with thelaunch of the Trilateral Research inPartnership (TRIP) Awards with the US.Ten awards of up to $75,000 are available to supportmultidisciplinary research projects between US, UKand Indian higher education institutions. 25
UK–US HigherEducation In December 2011, the US education teamPartnerships convened a UK–US Higher Education Partnerships Forum in London. AlmostForum 100 representatives of the UK sector attended to hear how our US panel had managed to build and maintain successful international partnerships.
The forum followed our successful US–UK Higher Education ‘As President Obama and I said in ourPolicy Forum in October 2011, in which we convened a forum joint statement on UK–US Higherof top British and American university leaders, governmentofficials and business representatives at Windsor Castle in Education, Science and Innovationthe UK, to discuss the most pressing issues in international Collaboration in May, science andhigher education. higher education are the foundation stones of our two nations’ 21st Century economies. I am grateful to the British Council for facilitating the Forum, and wish it every success.’ David Cameron, Prime Minister September 2011 27
EmployabilityResearchIn 2010, we commissioned Ipsos PublicAffairs to do some research intoAmerican employers’ perceptions ofBritish degrees, on behalf of the UKhigher education sector. The fullresults, which were published inDecember 2011, showed that three-quarters of US employers view UK-earned degrees as ‘the same orbetter than those earned in the US’.The research also identified core learning elementsthat employers liked and associated with the UK highereducation system. These included the tutorial style oflearning, earlier specialization in specific subject areas,and increased independent study.The research also made useful recommendations forUK universities to provide more information aimed atinternational employers on their websites, thus providingpractical ways for British universities to encourage moreAmerican students to study abroad.
Going GlobalThe US team gave extensive input intoGoing Global 2012, the British Council’sinternational higher educationconference, featuring 1,300 delegatesfrom 80 countries.The US team organized a session on how to createsuccessful multilateral partnerships between the US, UK andother countries, featuring US higher education leaders suchas Dr Eduardo Padrón, President of Miami Dade Collegeand Dr Bob Clarke, Director of Biomedical Research atGeorgetown University.2012 saw the highest number of delegates from the USand the Americas region at the forum, with more than 110delegates attending. The US also produced the largestnumber of session proposals.In 2014, Going Global will be held in Miami – the first time thatthe conference will take place in the Americas. 29
MicrosoftPartnershipIn November 2011, the British Council’sTrustee Claire Ighodaro CBE andAnthony Salcito, Vice President ofEducation for Microsoft, launched afive-year global education partnershipwith Microsoft at Microsoft’sPartners in Learning Global Forum inWashington DC.The first project of the partnership is Badiliko, a $2 millionventure which will build 80 digital hubs at schools acrossAfrica and provide professional development for teachers.
Microsoft and the British Council will each invest $1 million ‘The British Council is a truly excellentin the project over the next two years, plus staff and in-kind partner for Microsoft’s globalresources. The project will build 80 digital hubs at schoolsacross Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria, education programs. I have been mostand provide a cascade model of professional development impressed by the quality and pace offor teachers and school leaders. projects such as Badiliko, our jointFor each digital hub, teachers will be trained in leadership program to improve education and ICTand innovative teaching practices, including how technology skills in African schools. The Britishcan support teaching and learning, and help students Council has major worldwide assetsbecome global citizens. Those teachers will then in turn train in education and English languageother teachers, who will work together to disseminate their teaching. They have been extremelynew-found skills through their own schools and communities. effective at realizing the potentialBadiliko expects to train more than 20,000 teachers and of our partnership and deliveringprovide 100,000 learners with digital access. what they promise.’ Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education for Microsoft 31
Our work in Societyre-energizes thetransatlanticrelationship throughdiverse globalnetworks of youngpeople, activists, andexperts, contributing toa more inclusive, openand prosperous world.Some of our US society team’s notableachievements and projects over thepast year include: 33
Our SharedFutureThe Our Shared Future program aims to improve the publicconversation about Muslims and intercultural relations inthe US and Europe. It is joint-funded by the British Counciland by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, who invested$500,000 in the project through a grant given to the Friendsof the British Council. 35
Our SharedFuture OpinionLeadersIn the US, we have brought togethera growing network of over 200American and European academics, The network was first convened in May 2011 at an international symposium at Georgetown University,journalists and policy analysts to ‘Deconstructing the “Clash of Civilizations”: Towards acontribute balanced and informed New Paradigm’.voices to the public debate on Islam In March 2012, we organized a second conference inand the West. They do this through Cambridge, UK, entitled ‘Acknowledging a Shared Pasthard facts, evidence-based arguments to Build a Shared Future: Rethinking Muslim/non-Muslimand research findings. relations’. The conference brought together some 70 participants from the US, Europe and North Africa, including journalists such as Simon Kuper of the Financial Times and academics such as George Saliba, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University. 100 Questions About Islam, an online video series of interviews with OSF scholars, reached more than 65,000 people in the week following its launch. We also launched a blogging contest, inviting people to write posts engaging with the video series. The winning entries came from students taking part in a single class at the University of Houston-Victoria in Texas.
‘As a trained journalist and someone ‘As a teacher, I’m grateful for theseactively involved with the media, kinds of opportunities because theypublishing and international allow me to help my students connectaffairs, the ‘Rethinking Muslim/Non- our class discussion and, in this case,Muslim Relations: Acknowledging their blog work, to conversationsa Shared Past to Build a Shared taking place all over the world.Future’ conference was a timely and I hope it will encourage all of themnecessary event to help bridge the to join in on those conversations evendivide that exists between academics after this course is over.’and the mainstream media. The staffof the British Council should be duly Macarena Hernández, Victoriacommended for their efforts in making Advocate Endowed Professor ofthe conference a success. They were the Humanities at the Universityprofessional and ever-willing to of Houston-Victoriaanswer my every question, making thetrip very easy to plan logistically.Thank you to the British Council forbringing together such a stronggroup of academics and journaliststo discuss this most important issue.’Sheila B Lalwani, Lecturer, MerrillSchool of Journalism, Universityof Maryland; Special Advisorto the Publisher, Foreign Policy
Generation9/1 Video 1ProjectOur Shared Future worked withmembers of Transatlantic Network2020 to produce the Generation 9/11video series, comprised of eight shortvideo clips from young adults aroundthe world and released to mark thetenth anniversary of the September11th terror attacks in the US.Each participant came of age around the time of theattacks and observed the effects that day had on theiroutlook on the world, whether they lived in the US,Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan or elsewhere.The videos were republished in leading internationalnews outlets including The Huffington Post, Global Voices,and Pakistan’s leading English news site Dawn.com,all of which contributed to bringing the videos to acombined audience of over 100 million in the firstweek after release.
British Council9/1 Summer 1Camp 201 1For ten days in July 2011, 26 American The trip exposed the American teenagers to opportunitiesteenagers directly impacted by to pursue degree or study abroad programs in the UK, for which they may seek financial support through our 9/11September 11 embarked on an Scholarship Fund.educational and cultural tourof the UK with the British Council. The program is funded by the UK toy company Merryweather Ltd. and the World Trade Center Disaster Fund.Stopping in Edinburgh, Oxford and London, they toureduniversities and castles, had hands-on training in theatre andmedia, and sampled the local cuisine.The 16- to 18-year-olds who joined the British Council’s USteam in our second year of organizing the UK 9/11 SummerCamp had each endured the death or serious injury of aparent on September 11. Many had met before in otherprograms for the children of 9/11 victims, including AmericasCamp, Tuesday’s Children and Project Common Bond. 39
Capacity- TransatlanticBuilding Network 2020Workshop, Transatlantic Network 2020 (TN2020)Prishtina, is an expanding network of emerging and influential leaders between 25Kosovo and 35 years old, from the fields of business, arts, civil society, media, science and politics.In March 2012 we sent 15 US, UK and The network has 150 members from 24 differentEuropean young leaders from our countries, including over 30 members from NorthTN2020 program to take part in a America. Members are dedicated to learning from onecapacity-building workshop with another to revitalize links and build new connections for25 young professionals in Kosovo. the future, refreshing the transatlantic relationship.The initiative received nearly $40,000 in funding fromthe Kosovo Foreign Ministry and the British Embassyin Kosovo. ‘The TN2020 event in Kosovo drew onGarnering the attention of Kosovo’s Deputy Minister precisely what the British Council doesof Foreign Affairs, the workshop featured on severalmajor news television programs in Kosovo, reaching so well in terms of strategic thinking,over 500,000 viewers. Workshop participants identified bringing diverse stakeholderskey needs in the region, plus solutions such as active together and really adding valuecitizenship, evidence-based journalism, business through building new ideas,engagement, and closer integration between connections and skills.’regional, national and local government. Blair Glencorse, Founder and Executive Director, the Accountability Lab and TN2020 member
Hijabi CulturalMonologues RelationsIn March 2012, the British Council’sDublin office worked with TN2020 Leadershipprogram colleagues in the US to In 2011, the British Council partneredfacilitate a performance of the with Chatham House to support theAmerican production ‘The Hijabi first phase of their Cultural DialogueMonologues’ to an audience of more and International Security Initiativethan 150 at Dublin’s Peacock theatre. through 2013.The performance was followed by a panel discussion The series included a conference on cultural dialogue inchaired by TN2020 member and Irish Times foreign East Asian Security at Georgetown University in Januarycorrespondent, Mary Fitzgerald. 2012 in Washington DC.The discussion reflected on how the stories of Muslimwomen in the US chimed with the experiences of Muslimwomen in Europe. The performance received substantialpress and social media interest, reaching 700,000 peoplethrough media coverage. 41
Friends of the In 2011 the Friends of the British Council (FOBC) was incorporated.British Council The Friends of the British Council is a 501c3 organization which is separate from the British Council, but aligned with the British Council’s values and mission. In April 2012, we were delighted to welcome Sandra L Gibson, former President and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters as chair of the FOBC Board. We look forward to working with the FOBC, under her leadership, in the years ahead. In 2011, the organization received a $500,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation towards a transnational network and public education campaign on Muslim/non-Muslim relations, the Our Shared Future project. It also received a $125,000 grant from the EU Delegation to the US to support the North American tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra in April 2012. The tour included concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Symphony Hall in Boston; plus stops in Bloomington Indiana, Chapel Hill North Carolina, and Northwestern University in Chicago.
‘The Friends of the British Council ‘We appreciate the vital role thatopens up new channels, pathways and the Friends of the British Councilresources for the US and UK to come played in bringing about the EU Youthtogether in a spirit of generosity, orchestra’s US tour. The collaborationentrepreneurship and partnership, was a great success and a wonderfulto address global issues and combine way to showcase the talents of ourour unique strengths and interests European youth.’to achieve good in the world.’ João Vale de Almeida, European UnionSandra L Gibson, Ambassador to the USChair of the FOBC Board 43
DigitalThe British Council in the US reacheda digital audience of nearly 1.5million during the 2011–2012 financialyear for online products managedin the US and for those managed inother British Council operationsthat attract a US audience. Our US-based websites had more than 300,000visitors. Our US-based social mediaaccounts connected with more than14,000 people.The British Council in the US connects with our onlineaudience via Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr,Tumblr, and blogs.To generate discussion about our work, we produced 161videos, 87 blog posts, and 202 photos in 12 galleries.Our most popular blog post, ‘New Data Debunk MythsAbout Muslims’, received approximately 12,000 pageviews. Our most popular video, ‘Why Do Muslim WomenWear the Hijab?’, had 2,359 views. Our video content wasrepublished on 70 websites, including Global Voices, Dawn.com (Pakistan’s most popular English-language news site)and The Huffington Post.Connect with us online:@usaBritishFacebook.com/britishcouncilusaFlickr.com/britishcouncilusaVimeo.com/britishcouncilusaYouTube.com/britishcouncilusaBritishCouncilUSA.Tumblr.com